Top Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Spendersby Kent Lewis on October 30, 2009Economy
Ever wonder who spends the big bucks on search engine marketing? Granted we know it’s the big brands with the deep pockets, but what verticals are spending the most? MarketingSherpa released their annual Search Marketing Benchmark Guide, which includes the Top 100 SEM Spenders. How does MarketingSherpa actually compile this data? Well, the data was gathered by SpyFu, a search intelligence company that scrapes websites to determine keywords that companies are bidding on, as well as the average CPC (cost per click). This data was collected in June 2009.
Since I can’t list all 100, I’ll list the top 10. As you can see, the insurance, travel & finance verticals are well represented. Seems crazy that Geico is spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars on a daily basis. I surely hope they’re seeing a positive ROI. It’s interesting to see the travel vertical so well represented since overall travel has been down year over year. It appears Expedia and Hotels.com are willing to throw around some money in hopes of not losing any traction they’ve worked so hard to gain. Not a bad idea if you ask me. When many companies are pulling back on marketing and advertising dollars in a down economy, those that continue to spend will see increased visibility and potentially even grow. I’m not saying that has happened in this situation, but merely suggesting it would behoove companies to continue normal spends through a tough economic downturn to try and gain market share, rather than lose.
Now that you’ve seen data from June 2009, let’s compare to more recent data directly from SpyFu’s site, which was last updated on September 30th. It’ll be interesting to see how a difference of a couple of months changes things in the Top 10.
Wow, lots of changes among the previous Top 10. Only 5 remain on the list (Expedia, Google, Geico, AOL & Progressive) from June data. It looks like more eCommerce/Shopping related sites have rocketed into the Top 10, with eBay now spending the most (previously #16). BizRate saw the biggest jump in spend as they went from 45th to 10th, with an increase of spend over this time period of roughly 275% (numbers are not exact as they are based off SpyFu, which is a site scraper and doesn’t contend to be exact). Now you have an idea of what it takes to be in the big leagues.